Issue 22 (December 1)


COSSA Washington Update, Volume 34 Issue 22

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, this is an abbreviated edition of the COSSA Washington Update. We will be back on Tuesday, December 15 for our last issue of the year.

Featured News

Federal Agency & Administration News

COSSA Member Spotlight

Events Calendar

BEA Releases State-Level Consumer Spending Data

For the first time, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) will begin regularly releasing official statistics detailing consumer spending by state. The data will include total consumer spending in each state, breakouts of consumer spending in specific categories and sectors, and per-capita consumer spending from 1997 through 2014. BEA began releasing prototype estimates in 2014; previously, only national consumer-spending data was available.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Deadline for Comments on Common Rule NPRM Extended

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it will extend the period for public comment on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (otherwise known as the Common Rule) by 30 days. The new deadline is January 6, 2016. A summary of the major changes to the regulations proposed in the NPRM is available here.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NIH Issues Notice Clarifying its Health Economics Research Priorities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a Guide Notice on November 25, to “clarify NIH policy related to funding health economics research,” in an effort to delineate NIH’s “priority areas of health economics research as well as reach aims that generally fall outside of the NIH mission.”

The notice is part of an ongoing issue that dates back to 2012 Congressional language in the Fiscal Year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill that bans the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from supporting economics research. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) responded to the language, along with 82 of her colleagues, in a letter to NIH “urging the continuation of behavioral and social science research, including economics.” The letter stated that “any consideration of reducing or eliminating economics research from NIH funding streams would be a very misguided and short sighted decision. This selective and regressive approach to information and knowledge is unacceptable, and we must work to ensure that health research remains as comprehensive and complete as possible.” Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) also included language targeting health economics research in an early version of the Kids First Research Act, though it was removed from the final draft. (more…)

NIH Issues Funding Opportunity to Support the PMI Cohort Program Direct Volunteer Pilot Studies

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking proposals for pilot studies and “the needed information technology support for the development of the Direct Volunteer component of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program.” The agency plans to build a “national research cohort of one million or more volunteers who are engaged as partners in a longitudinal, long-term effort to identify the molecular, environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to diverse diseases, to facilitate the development and testing of novel therapies and prevention approaches, and to pioneer mHealth [mobile health] strategies for improving the efficacy of health care.” To that end, NIH released a series of funding opportunities announcements (FOAs) related to PMI and the implementation of the PMI Cohort Program along with two funding opportunities associated with “Other Transaction awards” to facilitate the development of a pilot program designed “to inform the creation of the direct volunteer enrollment component of the cohort” and an accompanying communication infrastructure “vital to conveying the importance of this research effort.” (more…)

COSSA Members Respond to OBSSR Strategic Plan

Several COSSA member organizations responded to the recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Request for Information (RFI) regarding its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan (see Update, November 3, 2015). In addition to stressing the challenges and opportunities for the behavioral sciences, the groups emphasize the need for continued leadership by OBSSR within NIH and the federal government. Below are highlights from the comments submitted by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Psychological Association (APA), the Population Association of America/Association of Population Centers (PAA/APC), and the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM). (more…)

Events Calendar

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA website. COSSA members who have an upcoming event they would like to see listed in the Events Calendar and on our website should send an email to

Back to this issue’s table of contents.


Past Newsletters



Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.